NEW DELHI: Dubbing the 1975 Emergency as the “darkest period’’ for the country, Prime Minister Narenda Modi, in his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme expressed his delight over the fact that the people in India have always given importance to democracy.
“Democracy is our strength and we have to make our democratic fabric stronger,” said Modi in the 21st edition of his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ programme. Stating that though the people are enjoying complete democracy now, Modi said there was a time in 1975 when the freedom of the people was curbed and thousands of political activists and student leaders were imprisoned.
He said the democracy, which empowers every citizen, had been suppressed on this day in 1975.
“The morning of June 26, 1975, was a black night when Emergency was imposed on the country. All rights of the citizens were taken away. The country was turned into a prison. Along with Jayaprakash Narayan, lakhs of people and thousands of politicians were sent to jails,” he recalled. “Very often ‘Mann Ki Baat’ is criticised, but this is possible because we are in a democracy. Do you remember June 25-26, 1975…it was the darkest night for democracy,” he said.
The PM said it is the strength of the countrymen that they have lived in this democracy.
“When the newspaper offices are sealed and radio speaks only voice, people on the other hand make you realise the power of democratic forces. This is a big strength for any nation,” he said in apparent reference to the Emergency days.
He said there should be an attitude that people continue to realise their strengths. “I keep saying that democracy does not mean that you vote and give contract of five years for running the country. Voting is a crucial part of democracy, but there are several other aspects too. The more governments associate with the people, the more is the country strengthened,” he said.